The rehabilitation of the East Bank Berbice road is expected to start in October of this year, according to Sunil Ganesh, the engineer overseeing the project.
According to him, works will start from Main Street, New Amsterdam to Light Town – a 16-kilometre stretch of road.
“The road design, which is being prepared by a Canadian consulting firm EXP in association with CEMCO, is expected to be completed in July, 2014,” Ganesh said in a release from the Ministry of Public Works on Friday.
Residents have been complaining for years over the poor condition of the road and there have been numerous protests.
Funding for the road will be made available via a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under an agreement for road network upgrade and expansion, with the Government of Guyana, the release said.
The finished product will be an asphaltic concrete road.
In the meantime, the Force Account Unit staff and contractor’s efforts will continue to keep this road “trafficable”, the release said.
In February this year, Stabroek News reported that residents were planning to stage another protest if government did not keep its promise to construct a new road. In past years, residents have protested on May 5th whenever government officials visited Highbury for observances of Indian Arrival Day. The protest may have been scheduled for today, possibly explaining why the press release was issued on Friday.
The residents had told Stabroek News in February that they were “waiting for the budget to pass to know if the road was included.”
They recalled that following a major protest last year, promises were made for the construction of a new road in the first quarter of 2014.
Drivers told this newspaper that they cannot avoid driving into the potholes and that it is causing severe damage to their vehicles and resulting in them undergoing additional expenses every six weeks.
A resident told this newspaper that if the government officials know they “cannot fix the road they should come out and say what the plans are. They can’t allow the time to pass and don’t say anything.”